How to include beans in your CKD diet

Pulses and CKD

You’ve probably heard about pulses like chickpeas, lentils, or other sorts of beans. But what exactly are they and why are they so important with CKD? Wondering what beans you can eat with CKD?

Well this post has you covered.

Beans, peas, and lentils have been getting a lot of spotlights in the media and from renal dietitians recently. But what exactly are the benefits of them you ask? Well, let me tell you.

I am going to use pulses as a general term for beans, peas, and lentils throughout this article, we’re talking about beans and CKD today. But you can choose your favourite one. They all have amazing benefits like lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, improved blood sugar control and management of diabetes, weight control, and delaying the progression of kidney disease.

How do all those little, tiny pulses have so much nutrition you may be asking. Well, let me tell you. First and foremost, pulses are a plant-based protein and are packed with fibre which helps to reduce inflammation and prevent constipation.  Looking for more information and types of pulses. Check out the pulses.org website for more information. 

Having lots of fibre helps to also control our cholesterol, blood sugar levels and weight. Which are all added bonuses for including these in our diet.

You might be thinking, well those are high in phosphorus and potassium, so I should be avoiding them on my renal diet. Well, everyone’s renal diet is different, dispelling myths is a favourite of mine.

The phosphorus found in plant-based foods like pulses are less absorbed compared to animal sources and of course phosphorus additives (which we absorb 100% of).  We can even further reduce potassium and phosphorus through using canned no added salt pulses, or by increasing their cooking and soaking time. Beans should be included in your CKD diet.

Standard amounts for chickpeas and lentils for 100 g:

  • Dried chickpeas 291 mg potassium, 168 mg phosphorus
  • Canned chickpeas 126 mg potassium, 85 mg phosphorus
  • Dried lentils 369 mg potassium, 180 mg phosphorus
  • Canned lentils 342 mg potassium, 166 mg phosphorus

Here is my favourite way to prepare chickpeas and lentils to include beans in your CKD diet and to further reduce the potassium and phosphorus content.

Dried chickpeas

  1. Soak for 12 hours in water.
  2. Cook for 150 minutes, discard cooking water.

In 100 g serving: 69 mg potassium, 114 mg phosphorus

Canned chickpeas

  1. Drain and rinse no added salt canned chickpeas.
  2. Soak for 12 hours in water.
  3. Cook for 15 minutes, discard cooking water.

In 100 g serving: 6 mg potassium, 48 mg phosphorus

Dried lentils

  1. Soak for 12 hours in water.
  2. Cook for 30 minutes, discard cooking water.

In 100 g serving: 81 mg potassium, 96 mg phosphorus

Canned lentils

  1. Drain and rinse no added salt canned lentils.
  2. Soak for 12 hours in water.
  3. Cook for 4 minutes, discard cooking water.

In 100 g serving: 6 mg potassium, 42 mg phosphorus

Looking to incorporate more pulses into your diet?

Some of my favourite ways for getting started include beans in your CKD diet:

  • Add chickpeas or lentils to your tomato sauce instead of ground meat
  • Make a mashed chickpea salad sandwich
  • Top off a salad with lentils or black beans
  • Add pulses to your soups or stews

Check out Ontario Beans for some other great recipes.

Looking to get started with adding pulses to your diet?

Pulses are a great addition to any kidney-friendly diet. Next week try having Meatless Monday where you plan a vegetarian meal that fits your kidney nutrition needs.

Do you need some support with planning nutritious and delicious meals? Well, Emily offers personalized meal planning and grocery shopping lists to help support you on your kidney nutrition journey and building your confidence with plant-based meals. Connect with Emily here.

Want to learn more about Emily? Learn more here.

2 thoughts on “How to include beans in your CKD diet

    1. Cooking lentils from a can can help to reduce the potassium and phosphorus content further. This is not necessary for everyone with CKD, but can be helpful for those who have high amounts of legumes in their diet and and are challenged to manage their potassium or phosphorus levels.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: